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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

506                              POLITICAL SCIENCE.
2.  An association like a church, so vast and extensive, can-
not do its appropriate work without the power of holding
property.    Here it is subject to the same laws in substance
with any other corporate body.    That it has a right to exist,
that it is a necessary corporation, does not take away the
need of control which is required in the case of other similar
bodies.     Here the law may fix the  amount of property that
can be held, as it can, the amount that may be bequeathed,,
the trustees who are to be responsible for and to manage the.
property, and the purposes for which it may be used.    Being
also invested by its very nature with a power of visitation,,
the state must have complete power to   examine books, to
punish trustees for  unfaithfulness, and, it may be, to depose
the trustees and appoint others.
3.  The  amount  of  property  capable   of being held for
church purposes may be limited.    We have already referred,
to the statutes of mortmain ;  and  the vast sums  given by
dying persons to the church " for the good of their souls " in.
tlie middle ages, seem to commend the rule that no bequests
for pious uses on a bed of last sickness or death ought to be
valid.    The rule is an equitable one for the protection of
families, who have not the same means of influencing a dying
person that  are within the reach of a minister of religion.
And any church, if free thus to receive bequests from- any
source to any amount at any time, might ere long subvert or
control a state.    The amount which a testator ought to be*
permitted to alienate from his family (as we have elsewhere
tried to show), should be a limited part of his property.
4.  Again,   it has  been  contended  in  this  country that
edifices of religion ought  to  be  subject  to taxation, whilef
school-houses, hospitals, and all properly charitable institu-
tions, as  well the buildings as  the funds yielding income,,
should not be taxable.    The arguments are drawn from, and
enforced by, the expensiveness of church buildings in this-
country, by the consideration that less-capital will be putinti>
a,dead shape1 if a small tax is levied, and by the inevitable
shyness that prevails in regard to the connection between state'